“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. And …
Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
What are the bare necessities when we gather together to worship God? No matter what form our worship takes, what are the essential things we should be doing? Here are some biblical answers:
Lift up the name of Christ. Worship is placing Christ in the centre of our gathering. It’s the public proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” Colossians 3:17.
Preach the Good News. Worship is passionately teaching and preaching the Story of Christ. It’s inviting everyone to enter into and be part of the Story. “Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” 2 Timothy 4:2.
Pray fervently. Worship is gathering together frequently, to pray as a group (cf. Acts 1:14). It’s seeing our need and expressing our desire to be conformed to Christ. “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere” Ephesians 6:18.
Encourage one another. Worship is encouraging one another in the way of Christ. It’s loving as Christ loves us. It’s being concerned for one another and building each other up. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other . . .” Hebrews 10:25.
Take Communion. Worship is remembering the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. It’s taking the bread and wine as symbols of the saving event in Christ until He comes again. “This is my body, which is given for you . . . This cup is the new covenant between God and you . . .” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.
Contribute something. Worship is playing the part you’re meant to play (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:27). It’s bringing, giving and doing something in the church for the cause of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:26).“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:10.
Sing praises. Worship is our harmonies and melodies blended together in a symphony of adoration. It’s everything that has breath praising the Lord! (cf. Psalm 150:6). “Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praises in your hearts” Ephesians 5:19.
Remember why we exist. Worship is our active response to the Great Commandment and Great Commission. It’s the gospel in motion and enacted. “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ And . . . ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” Matthew 22:37-39. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them . . . Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you . . .” Matthew 28:19-20.